Period of continuous employment
The period of continuous employment is used to work out if employees qualify for certain rights based on length of service, like protection from unfair dismissal.
If an employee never worked for you or an associated employer in the past then their period of continuous service will just be the time since they started work for you.
However, if the employee previously worked for you or an associated employer, that earlier period of service may need to be counted too.
A gap of at least one week (ending on a Saturday) between the two employment periods normally will break continuity so you can ignore the earlier service unless:
an Employment contract existed or employment was regarded by custom as continuing
the employee was re-employed within four weeks following redundancy
it was due to a qualifying sickness absence, family leave (ie maternity, paternity, parental or adoption leave) or military service
temporary cessation of work or strike/lock-out
Fixed-term contracts can be useful where it is known from the outset that the employment will end after a defined period.
Fixed-term employees are protected by law from being treated less favourably than permanent employees and, if they have enough service, from unfair dismissal.
Fixed-term contracts that are renewed or replaced after four years' qualifying service are automatically converted into a contract of indefinite duration.
Business sales and transfers
Employees have special protections when their assigned business unit is sold or transferred. This applies to:
mergers and acquisitions
insourcing and outsourcing
award or transfer of service contracts
the transfer of leases
Employees must be consulted and the recipient inherits employees with existing contracts and liabilities.
Employees have the right to be consulted over health and safety arrangements in their workplace and special consultation procedures apply if certain situations arise including:
proposals to make 20 or more employees redundant
proposals to take measures affecting employees in connection with any business transfer
a request is made in a certain way to set up a body to represent workers
Other good sources of information about employment law include: